ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans taking over the state House are forming committees that emphasize their rural/urban split with Democrats.

The GOP reduced the number of committees overall even as it added new panels to focus on mining policy and jobs in greater Minnesota. And the caucus renamed the committee that handles health care policy “Health and Human Services Reform,” a subtle sign that Republicans will seek changes to the state’s health insurance exchange.

Incoming House Speaker Kurt Daudt announced the committee structure Tuesday.

Rep. Jim Knoblach will chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee. A rural member will chair the committee that handles public construction dollars — a departure from the DFL’s leadership the last two years.

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